Waiver Wire Watch: Week 12

Every week, I highlight a few players that you should target in waivers. I use the ESPN league data when filtering players, so the only players eligible for discussion here are those that are available on the waiver wire of at least 50% of ESPN’s leagues. I’ll list each player’s percentage-owned after their name so you have an idea of how available they are in leagues around the country. I’ll always try to mention a few players that are available in 90% of leagues for those of you in 12-team leagues or leagues with big rosters. I’ll rank them in the order I’d pick them up in a league with a high-performance, PPR scoring system.

Please note that these rankings are for total value through the end of the year. Players with particularly good matchups this week are in bold.

QUARTERBACKS

I’d pick up Matt Cassel and Tyler Thigpen before moving onto the list below. Jeff Garcia and Brady Quinn also have nice matchups this week. I’d probably pick them up after Frerotte.

Gus Frerotte (32.3)
He has a great schedule down the stretch that includes JAX, DET and ARI.
Matt Hasselbeck (47.8)
He was rough in his first week back, but he has as much upside as anyone on this list.
Kerry Collins (22.1)
519 yards and five TD over the last two weeks is nothing to sneeze at. Plus, he has four pretty good matchups in the next four weeks – NYJ, DET, CLE and HOU. You wouldn’t want to start him Week 16 however (PIT).
Shaun Hill (21.8)
He’s averaging 215 yards and 2.0 pass TD over the last two games, plus he had a rush TD to boot. He has a nice stretch run in Weeks 14-16 against the Jets, Dolphins and Rams.
Joe Flacco (42.8)
Sage Rosenfels (30.6)
JaMarcus Russell (25.8)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (6.8)
Daunte Culpepper (12.4)
I have no idea why Detroit isn’t looking at Drew Stanton right now, but Culpepper is a starting QB, so he does have some value.

RUNNING BACKS

If Warrick Dunn, Sammy Morris, Justin Fargas or Derrick Ward are out there on your waiver wire, they’d be worth a pickup. Dunn will benefit from Earnest Graham’s absence, Morris is working his way back into the starting lineup and Fargas is already there. Brandon Jacobs had a precautionary MRI on his sore knee, so Ward has an outside chance to see his stock rise significantly over the next week or two.

Peyton Hillis (13.3)
He’s the closest thing that the Broncos have to a RB1 right now.
Cedric Benson (47.3)
Antonio Pittman (14.0)
Steven Jackson will be out for at least another week, maybe longer.
Pierre Thomas (19.4)
He was very productive on 20 touches this week, but if Reggie Bush comes back, Thomas’ value will take a hit.
Selvin Young (40.2)
If he can just get healthy, he would see some serious work in the Denver backfield.
Carnell Williams (24.9)
There’s no telling when (or if) Caddy will be able to help, but he’s practicing some now, so there’s a chance that he could split time in the Tampa Bay backfield.
Ahmad Bradshaw (23.8)
He’d see his value rise if Jacobs were to miss any time.
Tatum Bell (23.0)
Clifton Smith (1.0)
He’s a darkhorse to get some carries with Earnest Graham out and Cadillac Williams working his way back.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Ted Ginn is owned in just over 52% of ESPN leagues and he’s starting to put up some consistent fantasy numbers, especially in PPR leagues.

Justin Gage (12.5)
He finally put two good games together (8-194-3 over the last two weeks). Has Kerry Collins finally found a “go to” WR?
Michael Jenkins (26.5)
He is quietly developing into a bona fide WR2 in Atlanta. He has a rough matchup this week, but things look solid down the stretch.
Mark Bradley (20.1)
After three straight 15+ fantasy point games (in PPR leagues), I would have liked to have seen more out of him against the Saints, but he posted just 3-54. He has 21 catches in his last four games.
Deion Branch (9.2)
4-54 in his first game back with Hasselbeck leads me to believe that he might be a worthwhile add in bigger leagues.
Jason Hill (2.2)
In the last three games, Hill has caught 12 passes for 153 yards and a TD.
Devin Hester (45.0)
He had a rough game against the Packers, but most wideouts don’t fair very well against Charles Woodson and Al Harris. His schedule over the next four weeks is much better.
Rashied Davis (30.7)
See “Devin Hester” above.
Antwaan Randle El (42.0)
Washington has nice matchups over the next two weeks.
Bobby Wade (6.3)
He has caught at least three passes in eight of 10 games this season, and last week he went for 2-12-1.
Bryant Johnson (13.6)
If you’re digging deep at WR, Johnson has caught 10 passes in the last three games.
Bobby Engram (33.5)
Will he and Hasselbeck get back into the swing of things?
Shaun McDonald (4.2)
He has caught 18 passes over the last four weeks.

TIGHT ENDS

Dustin Keller (27.1)
14 catches for 194 yards and a TD over the last two games is no fluke. He’s becoming Favre’s safety-valve over the middle.
Zach Miller (48.6)
Miller has gained at least 42 yards in six of the last seven games.
Donald Lee (40.6)
Lee has three TD in the last six games and has caught at least two passes in eight of the Packers’ 10 games.
Todd Heap (48.6)
After a horrible start, Heap has eight catches over the last two weeks. If Derrick Mason misses anytime with his shoulder injury, Heap could – repeat, could – become a bigger part of the Baltimore game plan.
Matt Spaeth (0.8)
Spaeth has 12 catches in the last two weeks filling in for Heath Miller. He’s a viable start in PPR leagues.
L.J. Smith (22.9)
Smith has six catches for 51 yards and a TD in the last two games.
John Carlson (44.4)
Carlson is averaging 3.0-28-0.3 over the last six games.
Marcedes Lewis (27.8)
Vernon Davis (34.3)
Don’t look now, but Davis has a consecutive-games-with-a-TD streak going.
Ben Watson (19.4)
His 8-88-1 outing against the Jets was probably a fluke.

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